The Real Deal Miami

Appraisals pose problems for homeowners

June 09, 2009 11:06AM

As home values deteriorate, lenders are pressuring appraisers to be more conservative in their estimates of home values. Doing appraisals is more difficult even without that pressure, as home values are shifting quickly and sale prices from previous months no longer match the market. Several appraisers said many of the appraisals they are doing now are too low to allow the homeowners to refinance their mortgages. Low appraisals can also result in homeowners’ home equity credit lines being seized, as happened to the owner of one 2,650-square-foot Manhattan apartment appraised at $1.475 million in 2005 and worth $600,000 today.